Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Uncertainty analysis of a groundwater flow model in east-central Florida

November 19, 2014

A groundwater flow model for east-central Florida has been developed to help water-resource managers assess the impact of increased groundwater withdrawals from the Floridan aquifer system on heads and spring flows originating from the Upper Floridan aquifer. The model provides a probabilistic description of predictions of interest to water-resource managers, given the uncertainty associated with system heterogeneity, the large number of input parameters, and a nonunique groundwater flow solution. The uncertainty associated with these predictions can then be considered in decisions with which the model has been designed to assist. The “Null Space Monte Carlo” method is a stochastic probabilistic approach used to generate a suite of several hundred parameter field realizations, each maintaining the model in a calibrated state, and each considered to be hydrogeologically plausible. The results presented herein indicate that the model’s capacity to predict changes in heads or spring flows that originate from increased groundwater withdrawals is considerably greater than its capacity to predict the absolute magnitudes of heads or spring flows. Furthermore, the capacity of the model to make predictions that are similar in location and in type to those in the calibration dataset exceeds its capacity to make predictions of different types at different locations. The quantification of these outcomes allows defensible use of the modeling process in support of future water-resources decisions. The model allows the decision-making process to recognize the uncertainties, and the spatial/temporal variability of uncertainties that are associated with predictions of future system behavior in a complex hydrogeological context.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Uncertainty analysis of a groundwater flow model in east-central Florida
DOI 10.1111/gwat.12232
Authors Nicasio Sepúlveda, John E. Doherty
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Groundwater
Index ID 70133657
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization FLWSC-Orlando

Related Content